Victoria has followed Queensland by accepting European motorcycle helmet standards, placing pressure on other states to follow suit.
As of yesterday, Victorian riders are able to wear helmets with an ECE sticker rather than the current Australian Standards sticker.
It is also believed New South Wales will be the next state to expand its helmet laws to include international standards.
Queensland also allows US and Japanese helmet standards or any other helmet that adheres to United Nations standards.
However, riders are not able to buy any of these helmets locally as retailers are still bound by federal laws which only allow them to sell Australian-approved helmets.
This will force riders to buy the helmets overseas or online.
Australian Motorcycle Council helmets committee chair Guy Stanford warned riders against buying helmets over the internet for safety reasons.
“Never buy a helmet you haven’t worn on your head,” he says.
“The strongest safety message I can give anyone is to buy a helmet that fits your head properly and you can’t do that over the web.”
Meanwhile, riders are being deprived of new and safe helmets as some international brands are waiting to see if the Australian Standards change before entering this market, including brands such as Suomy and Touratech.
At the moment, it is not economically viable for manufacturers of niche helmets to gain expensive Australian certification for their helmets. It was one of the hold-ups on the reintroduction of the famous Bell brand for several years.
Meanwhile, Queensland and Victorian riders who buy international-standard helmets will also run the risk of a fine for wearing a non-compliant helmet if they venture interstate.
Given the changing climate of helmet standards and legal uncertainty, it would be hoped police would practise some leniency.